Writer most similar to Joe Abercrombie?

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by HatchetHarry, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. Zach H.

    Zach H. Registered User

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    Definitely seconded. To me the First Law reads like Forgotten Realms compared to Caine. I rank Blade of Tyshalle as one of the best post-2000 releases. Stover is severely underrated.
     
  2. GleepWurp

    GleepWurp New Member

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    Most like Joe Abercrombie

    Joe Abercrombie is definitely not overrated. The Heroes is a fabulous book.

    If you like the dark cynicism, you should read some Stephen Donaldson.
    If you like the Fantasy that is a little light on the magic, instead of being filled with wizards and such like, try Patrick Rothfuss.
    If you like the realistic action.... that's harder.
    For a mix of all three ... well that's what makes Joe Abercrombie such a revelation to some of us fans.

    Joe. Please write more.
     
  3. Kruppe

    Kruppe Insanely Absurd

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    He reminds me alot of David Gemmel...ie extremely violent with deep characterizations and the plot is simply a vehicle for even greater violence.
     
  4. Tragedy

    Tragedy Registered User

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    Wasn't there some random guy on the interwebs posting about how "bad" nihilistic fantasy was? Abercrombie was mentioned and if I recall correctly, Erikson and Bakker too.

    It was actually this that made me order all Abercrombies books ASAP:
    Here is the link to the article: http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/lgrin/2011/02/12/the-bankrupt-nihilism-of-our-fallen-fantasists/
     
  5. thirstyVan

    thirstyVan the Thirsty

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    heh. that's a great description of Abercrombie's work, actually. When you look at it in that light, like an anti-LotR... It actually makes the ending of First Law seem a little better. :D

    EDIT:

    From the article,

    "a conservative friend of mine once accurately derided “fat fantasy” cycles such as Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time as “Lord of the Rings 90210”"

    That is HILARIOUS! Also, kind of true :(

    EDIT 2:

    the rest of that article is painful. Conservative bemoans deconstructionism, yearns for the "good old days", blames libs. I'm tempted to rant about Breibart, but that's not why we're here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  6. Whiskey Pete

    Whiskey Pete New Member

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    thirstyVan, that article is a complete crap. And to the idiot who wrote it:

    “Open your ears and listen for once, ’cause I don’t want to be telling you this every mile we go. The world ain’t how I’d like it in all kind o’ ways. Ninefingers has gone back to the mud. Bethod’s made himself King of the Northmen. The Shanka are fixing to come swarming over the mountains. I’ve walked too far, and fought too long, and heard enough **** from you to fill a lifetime, and all at an age when I should have my feet up with sons to take care o’ me. So you can see I got bigger problems than that life hasn’t turned out the way you hoped. You can harp on the past all you please, Dow, like some old woman upset cause her tits used to stay up by themselves, or you can shut your ****ing hole and help me get on with things.”

    Next, I know it's been a year and a half since this thread has been popular, but the question remains. At least that's what brought me here.

    Lynch is nowhere near Abercrombie. He gets lost in his own characters - vocabulary mostly - and those characters have no strength. They behave erratically and the plot unfolds and folds and back again. The first book was enjoyable at least, but the second was crap.

    Brent Weeks either. I've read some Assassin serie I can't remember its name, some Night Angel or the such. It was the author's first book and the editor was probably drunk. There are HUGE discrepancies in style, language and the writing in itself between the three books. It's like having three different authors write up a trilogy individually. Granted, Weeks evolved along the way, but didn't bother to go back and cover his tracks.

    The closer is Morgan's Steel Remains. Although the gay sex scenes took a bit of courage to publish, I suppose. I recommended it to a friend and since then he's been avoiding me, probably thinks I got a crush on him or something.

    George RR Martin has developed a plot so twisted and complicated I'm really eager to see how he's gonna write his way out of it. A good writer, but Abercrombie's better.

    I read a lot of books in my life, fantasy fiction I've started a year ago. Since HBO's Game of Thrones, actually. I've done almost nothing else since. And Abercrombie comes out on top. He's the best among the new and old, easily comparable with 'serious' literature authors. He's realistic. If by reading you wanna immerse your conscious self into a land ruled by powerful kings, magic dragons, honourable knights and beautiful princesses, this ain't it. I do not doubt characters like Logen, Black Dow and the rest are merely fictional reproductions of the real thing.

    People praise Joyce and Hemingway about going raw. Why doesn't a fantasy author have that privilege? I like that it's raw, it makes it a hell of a lot more 'believable'. I like my books to be pieces of life, not f****g fairytales.
     
  7. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    Wow. Lynch is better, GRRM is in a different league all together. I think Abercrombie is one of the most overrated writers out there. I don't see the realism at all in Abercrombie, I see cartoony caricatures.

    Here is a segment from The Blade Itself (chapter: The Goodman) to show what I mean:
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  8. hawkeyye

    hawkeyye Registered User

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    Well said and I completely agree. No one compares to abercrombie in my opinion. And to the guy above me, no, lynch is not better. That's quite laughable. Anyway, whiskey, what would you recommend to a fellow JA lover who is looking for something similar?
     
  9. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    My argument with Abercrombie praise isn't about subject matter or deconstructionism, it's about poor writing. That section above I quoted is how that entire first book reads to me (I couldn't finish it). Now perhaps it's just a matter of a first novel not being what a writer is capable of. I have Best Served Cold in my TBR stack and I'll read it with an open mind. I'd read lots of glowing reviews of his books and was excited to read them, but was surprised by how bad it was, and then in turn, baffled by the praise.
     
  10. chris777

    chris777 Registered User

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    Ya I couldn't disagree with you more Danogzilla. And it's really a matter of opinion. For example so many on here rave about Ursula LeGuin and how her prose and writing is one of the best. I could barely get through Earthsea's first book because I found the prose and writing style incredibly annoying. So you saying Abercrombie is terrible is the same as me saying Ursula LeGuin is a terrible writer. Both simply opinions that go against the grain.
     
  11. Whiskey Pete

    Whiskey Pete New Member

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    Here's the thing: everyone's entitled to preferences and opinions. Nothing wrong about that. I say Lynch is worse because I sense him straining to follow his own plot, he often lets it escape and go wild.

    Danogzilla, about that particular segment: I don't think it's cartoonish at all. I think it draws a character better than ten pages of elaborate description. Have you ever been in a corporate meeting with a tyrant whose only pleasure derives from hearing himself bullying his lessers? Trust me, that's not cartoonish at all. I had several bosses along the years, and most of them were pretty well represented by Lord Hoff there.

    The only character that lost its vigor was Arch Lector Sult. Compared to his first entrance, he evolved rather poorly and unexpectedly. I was hoping he'd put more of a smart and gracious fight rather than ranting crazily about. If I were to find a fault in ANY of the books, Sult would be it.

    Hawkeye, I think Richard Morgan's Land Fit For Heroes would qualify. If you can go past the fact that his main character's gay and he doesn't go easy on the sex scenes.
     
  12. s271

    s271 Repudiated Ursus

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    First book I agree. Second was a slow and boring.
     
  13. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    True enough (I'm a Leguin fan too, so good example, though I've never read the Earthsea books). And I am definitely not saying Abercrombie is terrible, I'm just saying he's overpraised.
     
  14. Whiskey Pete

    Whiskey Pete New Member

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    Hmmm... Let me put it this way: Abercrombie is an architect. He gets the plan ready from head to foot than does a very very good puppeteer job with his characters. Basically in The First Law nothing changes: it starts with the Union at peace, Gurkish defeated, a vain kind who's ruled by Feekt from the Close Council who in turn is ruled by Bayaz. And a new kind in the north. Well, as the trilogy ends, change the name Feekt with Glokta and you have the picture. And all that straining in between is just the fact that 'history moves in circles'. Perhaps Abercrombie is overpraised, perhaps I overpraise him, but in my opinion as far as writing goes, he's already mastered it. And this was his first book/trilogy. It really is a masterpiece.

    It's extremely well built, I cannot find any single fault in it. Apart from Sult. And I am used with much better regarded literature, they fed it to me in college by the handful. Luckily for me at the time, whoring and oblivious drinking have spared me the finer aspects of academic writing.

    He has his motifs (for lack of a better word): change Ninefingers with Caul Shivers in Best Served Cold and Glokta with Bremer dan Gorst in Heroes and you pretty much have the character. Psychologically, at least.The characters evolve around the plot, not the other way around.

    Lynch and RR Martin go with the flow, they just write and write and eventually something happens. At least Martin admitted in an interview two or three years back he has barely a clue clue about the definitive ending in that long book of his. I read Dance of Dragons a few months ago and I cannot remember two thirds of the characters, or anything about the plot for that matter. I read First Law right after and I can still connect and visualize nearly all characters and their actions. It hasn't happened to me before, perhaps only with Tolkien, but that I read many years back.
     
  15. chokipokilo

    chokipokilo Unreasonable reasoner

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    I wouldn't say Abercrombie's better, he just planned his series better. GRRM's originally started as a short story and grew into a beast. If you want to see what Martin can do with a simpler, more focused story, Fevre Dream is great.
     
  16. Whiskey Pete

    Whiskey Pete New Member

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    Thanks, will check it out.
     
  17. hawkeyye

    hawkeyye Registered User

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    I liked (not loved) the first one. I didn't like it enough to read the second one based on the very average reviews it's getting.

    Just started The darkness that comes before. So far it is very interesting and when I'm not reading i'm thinking about it, so I might have found a winner...
     
  18. s271

    s271 Repudiated Ursus

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    I wiil still try the third than it'll be out. "The Cold Commands" is the only book by Morgan which I didn't like, and the worldbuilding was very good, it was plot and pacing that sucked.

    Had exactly the same problem with this series - liked first book, Boggled down in the middle of the second, wasn't even able to finish it...
     
  19. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    Well, I see Joe Abercrombie as his own thing. However, if pushed on it, I'd call him the love child of David Gemmell, Glen Cook and Gene Wolfe with a touch of C.J. Cherryh, so all four of those authors might be good to check out for those interested in writers similar (but not the same) as Abercrombie.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  20. werewolfv2

    werewolfv2 Book worm

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    bwahahaha! I can actually see that. :p
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2012